In response to recruiting challenges and retention issues, the Golden Valley Fire Department (GVFD) transitioned to a duty crew staffing model for weekdays, 8 am–11 pm only, starting in March 2022.
The GVFD currently uses the paid-on-call staffing model, where firefighters with other full-time jobs are “on call” part time and report to their station when notified. Those arriving first head out to the call unless it is significant enough to warrant a larger crew. This impacts response times and efficient use of firefighters.
Response times (the time it takes between an incoming call and the GVFD reporting to that location) currently include the time it takes firefighters to travel from work or home to the station, and then from the station to the location of a call. This can be challenging when firefighters work or live at a distance from the stations.
All on-call firefighters in a given shift must report to the station when a call comes in. This means they may arrive only to find out they are not needed, which is both a loss of time and a missed opportunity to engage in firefighting.
In a duty crew staffing model, firefighters provide active service during scheduled duty crew hours and are based in a fire station during their shift. This shortens response time and gives firefighters a chance to complete required trainings and equipment maintenance during down times.
This change is the first of many recommendations outlined in the recently completed City Facilities Study (see page 3 of the Jan/Feb 2022 CityNews issue for more information).
For questions regarding GVFD recruitment, call 763-593-3977.